MMO Or Baby?

One day every year sumo wrestlers try to make babies cry. I am not making that up.

One day every year sumo wrestlers try to make babies cry. I am not making that up.

You probably don’t know this but my brother, MMO muse and WoW noob king, became a father for the second time in April (gz, gj, woot etc) and since then his budding MMORPG career has taken a nose dive. He literally went from playing a couple of hours a night to, well, never playing at all. This disturbing fact got me wondering… do I really want kids?

To be honest I probably don’t have much say in the matter as my wife’s body clock is ticking down like a nuclear time bomb and if I don’t willingly consent I’ll probably wake up one night to find an empty package of Viagra by my beside and my spouse gently rocking atop me. /sigh. Thing is though, I’m just not that into kids. At worst I see them as an annoyance and at best I see them as competition and, as much as I want to sow my seed and leave my legacy on the world, I don’t want to have to give my up gaming nights to do it.

I heard kids take up a lot of time and require a bit of attention so I really have no idea how people manage to balance gaming and parenting. And some even maintain a blog too! I’m in awe of that multitasking, I truly am. No doubt it gets a bit easier as the children get older and can entertain themselves but those first few years of childcare sounds like an absolute killer. On the bright side though, I suppose one could end up with an army of the buggers ready to grind crafting materials at their command.

I can’t decide. So I’m going to leave this incredibly important and life changing decision the hands of you, my loyal readers. Choose wisely my friends, my future is in your hands.

Should I have a baby?

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-Gordon

Gordon envisages a future in which he’s playing MMOs whilst his baby resides in a cage on his desk, gentle cooing as he mines rare ore.

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95 Comments

  1. Longasc says:

    I vote for the baby. Seems you have no say in the matter anyways. With proper training, 5 year olds can make excellent resource gatherers and farmers.

  2. Akely says:

    The matter is to serious for me to chose one of the options. But I’m in no way disapproving of your joking tone.

    Having a baby, or babies, will be the biggest decision of your life. Period. It will change you for ever.

    In all honesty I must confess that some things in life get worse with children. Play time (games and other stuff too), freedom to just “get up and go” somewhere are two things that I really miss. But on a whole our lives is so much richer, fuller and happier that my only regret is that we did not have kids years ago.

    Also: with so many games around you’ll soon play with the kid(s). Your kids will mis one barrier my has: language.

    Now: go bonk the Mrs. :)

  3. Klepsacovic says:

    I can only speak as a very new uncle, but kids are much less stupid when they’re not just some random brat. However I must object if you are going to raise the child as a goblin. That’s just asking for him or her to grow up indifferent to you except for looting your will and misleading you on investments in their favor.

  4. Ralex says:

    If my experience is any guide, with one child, you can usually prioritize things and trade off responsibilities with your wife and do pretty much everything you used to, although not as much or whenever you want. With two children, it becomes a lot more complicated. My second child produced two casualties: my golf game, scheduled MMO activites (like 3 hour WoW raids).

    Now that my son is eight though, my golf game is set for a come back (with him along). ;)

  5. Pid says:

    I will give you a perspective of a dad who started MMO’ing as opposed to a MMO gamer who became a father. Kids are a lot of work. They truly are, but as cliche as it sounds, the moments in their lives that you see them hit a milestone you puff out your chest and say “that’s my boy/girl!”

    Your gaming time will suffer, there is no doubt, but after a while you learn to juggle all the important stuff in your life. I consider gaming an important part of my life, so I fit it in where I can. I started a blog too. It is not prolific and I have long spells of zero posts, but when I find something that deserves publishing I throw it out there.

    Anyway, I didn’t have a lot of choice when it came to deciding when to have our first child. My son was born about a year after getting married and was unplanned. My daughter on the other hand was a little more predetermined. :o ) Kids are a lot of work, and a huge time/money commitment but the rewards are truly far greater.

  6. Faelsafe says:

    I voted yes
    You will have 9 months of a pregnant wife which usually equals more game time.
    Then another 6 months of immobile infant who is easily entertained & sleeps about 16 hours a day (that is not consecutive) so you have netted 15 months of game time.

    By that time usually burn out sets in so you have a 6 month break waiting for the next expansion.

    After that you roll a Feral Druid by a Naga Mouse and Bind all your keyboard keys to your swipe, maul macro and let the little one tank instances for ya.

  7. Russ says:

    Paragraph 2, sentence 1: priceless!

    Good luck with your, um, decision.

    :)

  8. Magson says:

    I voted yes. My 4th is approaching 6 months old now, and while yeah, it IS hard to balance in the game time with the family time, it’s still doable. And the family time is most definitely worth MORE to me than my MMO/game time.

  9. Stabs says:

    Chiming in with the rest of the marriage guidance counsellors to advocate the sprog.

    I would also suggest you hire Brian Green to devise you a MMO style parenting plan. 500 exp for nappy changing, a bonus ding on its birthday, epic bedtime stories (the fourth pillar, don’t you know?).

    You could become the world’s fastest levelling dad.

  10. Sharon says:

    I have four kids (ages 14, 12, 9 and 4), and it really hasn’t cramped my gaming that much. I can’t spend all day playing games like I did in college (well… I still do occasionally on a weekend). But no matter what your hobbies are, having a baby for the first time is an adjustment. I didn’t plan on ever having kids, and my first one was a complete surprise. Turns out that they’re a lot of fun. :)

    You can still play with a baby! It’s actually easiest when they’re really little. I spent long hours raiding with a sleeping baby in my lap. I mastered the art of the diaper quick change, and my guildmates were awesome about my occasional need to AFK. My husband isn’t a gamer, and he helped out a lot.

    When they become toddlers, the hardest thing is keeping them from pushing the reset button on your computer. At that point, I tended to play more often in the evenings after they’d gone to bed.

    Now that my kids are older, I’m perfectly able to play while they do other things. I try to model responsible gaming. My oldest plays EQ2 with me, and that’s a blast.

    As long as both parents keep in mind that they’re a team, and help each other out so that neither mom nor dad feel they’re doing all the work, it really shouldn’t be that big a deal.

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, I think balance will need to be the key. Work out days to blog and days to game and suitable times. I’m fortune that my wife is so great and I’m kinda counting on her to do most of the parenting actually ;) I’m planning on just shaking my kid’s hand before they go to bed then taking him for a walk on a Saturday :)

  11. Jenna says:

    Baby will mean that you’ll have very little gaming time, besides that the world is overpopulated already.

  12. zelmaru says:

    I was a gamer before having a baby, and while game time has been cut back, it’s all workable. You just have to play smarter, not harder. I’ve gathered herbs with a baby strapped to my chest. I’ve breastfed while raiding (once the baby latches on there’s not much to do). It can be done. You can do it.

    At the risk of self-pimping, I actually wrote about this a while back… so here’s the link. http://murlocparliament.com/?p=76

  13. Chris says:

    I think it really comes down to if you want a child or not. If you do, then the time lost from gaming will be worth it for how he/she enriches your life. My personal thought is that a child will be more fulfilling and more worthwhile in the long-run. The more important question is does your wife know that playing MMOs is impacting your decision on family starting? Lol.

    I vote baby. If for no other reason than you can have the best of both worlds. Your game time may decrease, but it will still be there. You’ll just have to be more flexible with when you take it. And babies? Come on. You can customize the heck out of those things.

  14. Rhii says:

    To quote a blogger we all know and love:

    “For those of you that don’t know, my wife is Japanese meaning that my future children will be born with black hair, pale yellow skin, slightly slanty eyes and a genetic disposition to be able to manipulate technology with ease. And I’ll love them completely, without hesitation or qualm…”

    Despite the fact that you were talking very humorously about the role of race both in and out of games, my thought at the time was that you’d make an awesome dad. The ability to love completely without hesitation or qualm is a prerequisite for parenthood. So I guess I’ll vote that you’ve already answered your own question.

    So have babies. :)

  15. I think having kids is wonderful, and it’s something I think about too. But ultimately, it comes down to you and your wife and it’s a decision a couple makes together. No one can tell you when you’re ready, only you know when the time is right :)

    All I know is, my gaming life will be over when I have kids. I don’t think I can be one of those mothers who breastfeed their baby while raiding WoW :P

  16. Occam says:

    I say have one…eventually. But only when you aren’t all that into WoW anymore. Not because I think gaming should be a priority, but because your child would be better off with fewer distractions competing for your attention.

    I’m not a father, but I am an uncle, and even THAT is way more work than I ever expected. But it really is rewarding.

    And I also say never again complain about waking up with a naked woman on top of you. What’s next? “Oh man, all this cash in my wallet is hurting my ass when I sit down!”

  17. Helen says:

    Ok wee Gordy,
    Given that that’s my family you’re holding up as an example of woe, I would point out several things:
    1. Andrew’s WoW career started with a crazily high level of hours per week precisely because I WAS pregnant and disappeared off to bed early, so that gave a false impression to start with.
    2. When Elise settles down and goes to bed in the evening at the same time as Freya (and no one is waiting for this with more bated breath than I), hopefully around the 3 month mark, you can have him back then.
    3. Freya is so addicted to WoW that she has massive arguments with Andrew at the weekend to let her play more, so I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s up and running as a gamer herself.
    4. Count yourself lucky you get to choose your moment and haven’t had it, er, thrust upon you, so to speak!

    I’ll just finish by saying thanks for the mental image, next time I see her I’ll probably choke on my cake or something!

  18. spinks says:

    You really need to sit down with your wife and discuss this. But I think you know that :)

  19. Larísa says:

    To put things in perspective… From my experience with babies I’d advice against combining them with playing MMOs. A single-player game will work in small portions, but you’ll be surprised to see the turn-up the babies will have on your life.
    On the other hand: babies grow up very much faster than you may imagine and will turn out to want to have a life of their own. Your life will enter a new phase and you’ll find time for gaming again if that’s what you want to do. You know… it’s not like you’re getting old and retired after you’ve had your children… In case you start now and not at 40 to get babies, you’ll have a huge chunk of post-baby-life to make whatever you want with.

    If you’ve got a wife you love and you have an inkling of curiosity for what it’s like to have a baby, I think you know the answer already in your heart. Actually I don’t think you’d write about it if you didn’t. It’s screaming to me. Don’t be afraid. Good luck! <3

  20. Everblue says:

    I have 2 girls – 2 years and 0.25 years old respectively. Both go to bed by 7pm, due to some fairly intensive work we did early on, so I raid once or twice a week between 7pm and 9.30pm,

    It works fairly well. Having kids is really tough, but, in my experience it’s been a pretty amazing experience. It’s definitely possible to combine it with gaming if you are clear about what you want to do. You just need to be clear with yourself where your priorities are, so your guildies need to know that your priority is the family not the game, and if they are decent people (ie worth being in a guild with) that shouldn’t be an issue.

  21. Yetian says:

    Well I’m about 4 months away from having my own MMO baby.

    The other half tells me that I’ll still get gaming time in fact it was a condition of the baby quest. ;)

    I’ll get less time, hell who knows I might even want a bit less time in MMO’s to spend time with mini mi. I will still be playing though, I just might struggle to blog enough about MMO’s, I struggle sometimes with that already.

    Look at it this way, in time you’ll have a mini version of yourself and he/she will need a PC to game on. Obviously you won’t want to spend a fortune on a pc a kid might wreck with all kinds of dodgy downloads (which you of course would never do ;) ). This means your PC becomes theirs and you get a shiny new one. When they break your old PC, rinse and repeat. ;)

  22. Who are you kidding says:

    I voted your firing blanks. But the art of a happy marriage is (a) knowing when to bite your own tongue, and swallow the comment that you would have made, and (b) letting your wife think she’s in control. I have now been married twenty years and have four children aged 16, 12, and twins of 9. You will still get times to play.

  23. amcl says:

    Thank you bro for the image of your midnight copulating – I’m waiting to see if our mother reads this blog! ;)

    Yes my MMO gaming dial has been turned to the lowest setting and when I finally get time in the evening to play WoW I’m too knackered to play for more than an hour!

    However, as my lovely wife pointed out and many more of your friendly commentators, it’s a short dry spell (maybe a year of less than 4 hours a night gaming!), and before long your guild will comprise of your niece too! She’s aged 5 and an eager WoW player – I’d let her play more, but the certificate on the game means that I have to limit her movements.

    Somethings in life are more important than online gaming *duck*, and I’m sure you’ll find time between baby-making to blog and play some PvP!

  24. Nina says:

    Ages 4-7 seem to be the sweet spot for teaching them to farm. Once they hit 8 or so they get too scattered, probably have learned to type and tend to go off in odd directions exploring or seeing how many times they can jump off buildings before they die. My oldest is 9, and if I could break her of her obsession with RPing a mysterious shapeshifted dragon princess she’d be a great pocket BG healer, as it is she’s wonderful for twinking my alts.

  25. Ferrel says:

    My main tank has four children and both he and his wife still play with us. Now sometimes they have to take sudden AFKs. One time comes to mind. We were raiding and the tank was explaining something when we all, very clearly, heard something glass shatter behind him. He went afk and we laughed.

    His kids are great and his son actually plays with us sometimes. He is quite good. So don’t think of this as you losing your gaming time. Think of it as an opportunity to build your own small group of super-MMOers.

  26. boatorious says:

    Kids are awesome. They are happy, you’ll be happier, your wife will probably be happier. It’s great.

    Gaming is diminished but I’m not sure why some new parents insist they now have no free time for anything else — maybe they were just really busy already? Kids sleep a lot and as they get older they like to do some things on their own or watch tv.

  27. Analogue says:

    My husband and I were Wow players before our daughter came along. The first 8 or so months didn’t change much – she could sit in her swing or the playpen next to us in the evening and play, or when she was really little, hang out on my lap while I did my things. Now she needs more attention and we do more playing after she goes to bed, but she does still sleep a lot more than we need to.

    Frankly, I doubt anyone looks back at their life when they’re old and in a home and wish they’d spent more time playing MMOs. Seriously, if that’s the only argument you have for not having kids, man up and go buy tiny little pink socks and stuff.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Very amusing post, but let me warn you: once baby is out, your life will change and there will be coming back. And you really can’t tell how it will change (for better or worse). It’s a kind of Russian roulette.

  29. Randomessa says:

    Whatever you do, make sure that *you* really want it as well. I’ve seen too many people lukewarm on the subject of childrearing having children they might not have been totally on-board with :( .

    As the posesser of the uterus in my relationship, I am witholding judgement until my first thought on having a baby is no longer “eh, I like sleep way too much.” Fortunately, my biological clock has a faulty wire!

    • Gordon says:

      My wife really wants kids and she’d make a great mother. Honestly, I do want kids but I could easily wait another 10 or 20 years. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury! Deep know, I know it will make me happy though.

  30. Jason says:

    Having a child is like buying an uncancellable lifetime subscription to the world’s oldest MMORPG “Raising Kids” that you can only quit through legal action and social stigma.

  31. Aurdon says:

    As the proud father of 3 future gamers (thus far) I vote yes. It is absolutely the hardest grind you will ever have in your life but the payoffs along the way are well worth it.

  32. Bootleg says:

    I was in a similar position. Growing up, I had no interest in children, had a general disdain for them and pretty much actively didn’t want them. My first really serious girlfriend and I had a scare, fortunately it was just a scare (because that would’ve been a lifetime disaster.) But it softened my stance a bit. A few years later I met my wife and a condition of us getting married was that she wanted a child, immediately (she was 34 when we married.) Long story short I love/loved my wife and made the conscious decision that I’d rather have a kid and be with her than the other way around.

    So the kid. Having a child will change your life. That’s the most honest, real, answer there is. Your life will change for the better in some respects and for the worse in other respects. As for the over all change, I wouldn’t dare to guess. The biggest, most noticeable change is the almost complete loss of personal freedom. I started giving away my personal freedom by first getting a dog, then a wife… But a child takes everything to a whole new level. It was very difficult to deal with. Another major change is financial, kids cost money, a lot of money. If you’re doing well financially this will only add a little stress, if you’re not; expect a lot more stresses in your life.

    I brought my wife and daughter home from the hospital the day WoW came out. I was a terrible father and husband for about 3 years. My goal was to simply survive the infant/toddler stage, which often meant ignoring my family and escaping into WoW. WoW was my foxhole.

    My marriage almost didn’t survive the first 3 years after my child was born, but it did. My kid is almost 6, I’m actually an involved father now. As a matter of fact I go to my daughters pre-school graduation today and I’m surprisingly excited.

    Do I have regrets about having a child? Absolutely, without a doubt, it’d be a lie to suggest otherwise. But the reality is, I am happier and better off today than I ever was at any previous point in the past.

  33. Elleseven says:

    This is a very different perspective on why to have kids:
    I work in residential care. I can’t tell you how lonely most old people are that have no children. I have heard many regrets of not having a family. Many sad jealous stares to other residents who have visitors. No one to advocate for them. Think a niece or nephew will come and visit. Its so very rare unless they think there’s a hefty inheritance coming there way. I really believe a true testament to how loved a person is, is by how many well wishes, family and friends they receive when they are old. So in my opinion don’t worry about not having time to game now with babies, worry about later when you have macular degeneration and arthritis and can’t play a game anymore and have no visitors since games trumped a family life.

    On a lighter note: In Canada the mother gets 6 months off and then the next 6 months the mother or the father can choose to stay at home. That would be 6 months with no working and a baby that still sleeps a lot. You could game a lot then. :)

    • Gordon says:

      That’s a very good point and totally true. There probably isn’t much important in life than having family around you!

      Unfortunately here in the UK men only get 2 weeks parental leave. Sucks :(

  34. Spleenie says:

    You definitely should not have kids. If you don’t want to give up your gaming, then you should definitely not have kids.

  35. Tobold says:

    I’m missing the option “Moot point, your wife left you after reading this post”. Mine would. Or she’d just kill me.

  36. Snafzg says:

    I’m going to run with a big NO here if this post is at all serious, which it probably isn’t. :P

    If you’re actually being truthful here (or masking truth with sarcasm) then you obviously aren’t ready for kids. And one thing you don’t want to do is have a kid just to shut up your wife. That’s a recipe for domestic issues down the road.

    You should probably tell your wife that you aren’t ready for kids and try work it out from there. I wouldn’t tell her your excuse for not wanting kids is that you want to spend more time playing video games though because she’ll probably slap you out cold for being such a selfish and juvenille lamer. And then leave your sorry ass, LOL.. :P

    Not wanting kids is completely legitimate. Unfortunately, if your wife really does want kids, you’ve got some issues to work out. Is this something either of you really want to compromise on? You cave and you get a little bundle of annoying resentment. She caves and she lives out her life with a huge piece missing. You both need to be on the same side completely, whichever side that is…

    Oddly enough I hear about a lot of people who get married without having the kid talk beforehand. That seems like an important thing you’d want to be clear on before making such a huge comittment, but to each their own. I guess people can change their minds too.

    • Gordon says:

      I think we do both want kids just at different timescales. She’s also older than me which isn’t the best combination because it would’ve been perfect had I been 50 and her been 30 :) I’m not sure any men are ready for kids though, are they? For me, it’s something I’m just going to have to accept and do and find ways of working my other hobbies around.

  37. Dave says:

    Unless you’re absolutely sure that raising kids is exactly what you want to do in life, don’t do it. It’s the biggest responsibility someone can undertake. There are plenty of other people producing the babies. If you’re sure that raising kids is what you want most in life, that’s different, but if there is any uncertainty I advise against it.

  38. River says:

    Everyone knows Blizz shoots rays through screens to make us infertile. LOL! I say have kids, ya know how much a healthy baby goes for on the black market..enough to by 1000 sparkly ponies.

  39. Linda Pelfrey says:

    Not just resource gathering; I knew someone who got her 7 year old to do her Jousting Dalies; another horrible Blizzard vehicle avoided!

    I predicted well in advance, while Microsoft was overwhelmingly dominant, that it would peak between Gate’s marriage and first child. Last week Apple passed MSFT in market cap.

  40. Leah says:

    /puts on serious cap

    do YOU yourself wish to have children? forget the game or anything else, do you like kids enough to have one of your won. do you yearn for a minime you can mold in your image (ok, not really, but most parents at least try :P ) is parenthood something that for you is natural and desirable, regardless of costs?

    if the answers are yes, then yes have children. hobbies come and go and if you enjoy your hobby well enough you WILL carve out time for it, without depriving your family of your attention.

    but if having children for you is something of a “that’s what married couples are supposed to do” variety, then I would have a good heart to heart talk with your wife.

  41. Grimfire says:

    Having children does not mean you cannot enjoy mmos. I have two children myself and I find time to play after they are both in bed. Do I play as much as I did when I didn’t have children? Of course not. But I don’t play much as I did when I was single either. I’ve never lamented the fact that my wondeful wife impedes on gaming and I’m sure you haven’t either. As for having children I will say this. I have very much disliked children most of my life; loud, unruly brats. However, that changed once I had my own. It is an amazing experience. I had doubts duringthe pregnancy but after my daughter was born I was sure that I wanted to be a great dad. My oldest is now four and what I find amazing, on a daily basis, is just how much she is like me. I am a mathematician turned analyst and she has already shown an affinity for math and science as well as having a temper like dear old dad. Trust me – it’s better than you can imagine. I could rant on and on about how unexpected the attachment is as I don’t think men have a natural paternal instinct (atleast not until after the child is born) but I’m on my mobile so I will simply say “good luck”. After having children gaming simply doesn’t seem as fun as playing around with the kids …

    • Gordon says:

      “After having children gaming simply doesn’t seem as fun as playing around with the kids …”

      I really hope that’s true for me too! I think you’re dead on in the fact that men don’t feel the same way about other people’s kids or their own until they pop out. Guess I’m just a little scared that I will never feel that way…

  42. Informis says:

    I played DAOC and WoW from 2001-2009. I stopped for a variety of reasons, but one of the big ones was that spending time with my daughter is far more interesting and fulfilling than playing MMOs. My wife still raids quite a bit, but these days I play mostly single-player RPGs, shooters, or something on my PS3. I still get lots of gaming time, just not the chained-to-my-desk variety.

    When I announced my wife was pregnant, a friend of mine (who already had kids) told me “People joke after you have kids, you forget what your life was like before. What they don’t tell you is that you won’t miss it.”

    I vote for babies. :)

  43. Jeff Howe says:

    I vote for babies as well. I was an MMO gamer before I had 3 and as everyone says, it does lower your overall gaming time but life does that anyway. You’ll never play as much as you did in college. However, your kids will give you so many great moments that they are very much worth it. Go for it now though, don’t wait too long.

  44. cresside says:

    Having kids could lead to more gametime – they sleep a lot – needing afternoon naps and they sleep a lot at night (mine from the age of 6 weeks).

    And babysitters are expensive, so you won’t get to go out lots for other stuff – like the pub, cinema, playing magic with mates, going out to dinner. Lots of time for gaming after 8pm. Every night.

    So – that could last for 2-4 years (if you could cooking the little’un in that as well)

  45. [...] based on a particular intellectual property? Also seeing as it’s been a while since I last published a poll (it was decided by the slim majority that I will indeed sacrifice my dominance of all MMO worlds [...]

  46. Xerxes says:

    Baby hehe.. Nothing beats real life thingys. If it be you don’t lose your game money or something, you lose the biggest thing.

  47. logan says:

    just have the kid already wait a few years and make it farm gold for you in wow, worked out great for my friend and im going to be having a little girl January and i will must likely do the same thing and the child will most likely be having a blast

  48. Wolarsen says:

    To keep it short, NO. NO. NO.
    If you even consider the question, do the baby, your couple and yourself a favour and do NOT it. It means a shitload of responsability and you have to be really convinced to take it.

    I have 2-y-old twins and yet manage to play almost every night once wife and kids are gone to bed. Granted, i need serious napping on weekends, but grannys are so happy to have babies for themselves for couple hours ^^

    I kind of rageposted when i saw your poll, will read comments now ;)

    • Wolarsen says:

      As i said, my post was a bit rushy; I dont want to sound as recommending to not have babies; mine rock and I would feel empty without them now; just wanted to point that you should really want them, or they could bring real damage to your world.
      It is not a shame at all to not be prepared for babies; however I’d recommend to talk really openly with your wife and find an agreement, with love almost anything can get thru.
      Meh, i express myself so poorly; I have even used the love word 8$. Best of luck anyway, it’s a huge adventure ahead!

    • Gordon says:

      Hehe :) I appreciate your honesty though :)

  49. John S says:

    “People joke after you have kids, you forget what your life was like before. What they don’t tell you is that you won’t miss it.”

    This is a LIE. Having hours of daily free time to game is something I miss *terribly*. It is a constant source of anguish in the backdrop of my happiness as a new father. Sorry to be a downer, but this is an important point. Kids are a huge source of joy, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t also miss having long stretches of empty time to waste.

    My first child is now 7+ months old and I haven’t been able to sit down and play anything for longer than an hour, since he was born. (And rarely that long, even.) During that time we have eaten out at a restaurant 4 times. That’s an average of once every two months.

    Basically when you have kids, you live like a hermit (ie., the way you did when you played a MMO) except you’re not actually playing a game.

    The bottom line is that kids are a time sink of MMO-esque proportion. Trying to squeeze in a MMO (assuming you have a full-time job too) would be shortchanging both the kid and your inner gamer. If you’re not prepared to directly substitute the kid for the MMO, I’d personally advise against having one.

  50. John S says:

    I’d also like to echo the sentiment that, prior to having a kid, other peoples’ kids annoyed me tremendously. I used to hear a kid’s outburst at a restaurant and I’d stare daggers at the parents, with a “Control your kid or stay home, JERKS!” attitude. All kids were to me were noisy, messy, booger-picking Tasmanian devils with no regard for personal boundaries, privacy, or peace and quiet.

    Now that I have one, it’s like I’ve been involuntarily injected with a new perspective. All of a sudden other peoples’ kids yelling or misbehaving seems cute or funny to me, most of the time. It’s definitely one of the more bizarre reality shifts I’ve ever experienced.

    I also have fresh perspective when watching shows like CSI, Law & Order SVU, and Criminal Minds – any show in which children are routinely the victims. All of a sudden, these shows become gut wrenching as you mentally put your kid in the victim’s position and find yourself psychologically reacting as a parent. I’ve been watching these shows for years, and they never used to strike terror or incite rage in me, the way they do now.

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